Official shot dead

2019-02-08 15:30
The scene where Oscar Hlatshwayo (inset), deputy director of engineering in the Ladysmith Municipality, was shot dead after dropping his children at school on Thursday.

The scene where Oscar Hlatshwayo (inset), deputy director of engineering in the Ladysmith Municipality, was shot dead after dropping his children at school on Thursday. (Ladysmith Herald/Claudine Senekal)

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A senior official from Alfred Duma Local Municipality at Ladysmith, Oscar Hlatshwayo, was gunned down in an alleged ambush on Thursday morning. 

Hlatshwayo (38), an executive director of engineering technical and infrastructure services, was en route to work after dropping off his children at school at about 7.30 am when he was shot several times.

Hlatshwayo, who was travelling alone, was shot at through the driver’s side window when the vehicle came to a halt at a traffic light at the corner of Harrismith and Francis roads in Ladysmith.

An eye-witness who asked not to be named, said Hlatshwayo was driving his blue Jaguar down Francis Road when he was ambushed. “As he drove past the KFC just a few metres from the robots at the intersection, gunshots rang out. He lost control and he did not stop at the intersection and collided with a minibus taxi. The gunmen were not in a car as there was no visible one which could have been used as a getaway car,” said the eye-witness.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said Hlatshwayo was accosted by two armed men who fired shots at him. His vehicle then crashed into three other vehicles, including a minibus taxi. No one else was injured in the incident.

“The suspects followed him and fired several shots. He was declared dead at the scene by paramedics,” said Mbele.

A case of murder was opened at the Ladysmith SAPS for investigation. No arrests have been made yet.

Alfred Duma Local Municipality spokesperson Siya Maphalala said Hlatshwayo joined the municipality as an intern some 15 years ago.

Oscar Hlatshwayo

In 2016, he was appointed as executive director for technical infrastructure.

“He was a very humble and hardworking person, he worked his way up to a director,” said Maphalala.

Maphalala said at this stage, it is not clear what the motive for the killing could be, adding that Hlatshwayo had never reported receiving death threats.

MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube expressed deep shock and condemnation at the brutal murder of Hlatshwayo.

She said KZN Cogta has been extremely concerned about what is becoming a trend in targeting of officials within municipalities, many of whom are hardworking and make many sacrifices so that their municipalities can function. “Threats to their lives are a threat to the foundations of our democracy,” Dube-Ncube said in a statement.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  political killings

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